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Old 06-16-2008, 04:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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About time to start



not my car, but the same car I'll be working with. Minus the front hood scoop. And a painted bottom. I want to pull as much MPG I can without sacrificing the off-road/snow capabilities of the vehicle(symmetrical AWD). I probably do like, 40/60 city/highway driving. I'd still like to keep the daytime running lights because people in southern california don't seem to know how to drive in the mountains (and it's required in some areas).

The first 3 mods I'm going to do is the front dam, a kammback, and rear wheel skirts. The front dam will probably have 2 holes for each of the daytime running lights and one at the bottom like AndrewJ's car.

In fact, all the aero mods I'm doing is what you can see on AndrewJ's vehicle



I said I was going to start when gas reached $5 a gallon, and it's already 4.59, so I may as well begin my research.

A couple questions

For mounting all this, did you just screw into the body? Because I want to make the aero mods removable for when I make a snow trip or when I go dirtbiking with the guys(because I don't go dirtbiking, I go rallying).

For the kammback, the problem I seem to face would be mounting the sides. It's all glass and I don't want to mess with the rear de-icers

And a question for the very near future...would a full body of skidplates be aerodynamic enough to replace an undercarriage cover? I'll take some pictures on Monday, June 16th once the US Open playoff is over. They'll be from my phone, so don't really expect much.



I'm more worried about raising my miles per gallon on the highway than in the city. I think I drive like, 200 miles a week on the highway alone during school and 144 off of school. Once I transfer schools and move out of the house I'll be switching all my mods from highway-based to city-based.

I think I've got the rear wheel skirts set and am just debating on materials to use.

I'm thinking some sort of high-density foam covered in fiberglass(I'll probably paint the foam so it doesn't look ugly. One of my brother's friends shapes surfboards, so he'll probably give me some tips)

The rear wheel skirts can probably be made out of wood as long as I have something supporting it. I used to build guitars so that's the only material I'm familiar with.


Ride on!
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Roof rack?

I'm keeping my old Honda roof rack, since I need it a few times a year.
It's great for long stuff like lumber and rugs.

Lamps:
The bottom area of the running lights looks like it's not smoothed into the
upper sheet metal. But, if it were smooth enough, maybe some 1/8" Plexiglas could cover over those lamp holes to make em slick..

Grill block:
If you have a SG2 to check the radiator temp, I would try closing off the bottom
completely and top half of the upper. Your only air intake would be the lower half of the upper grill (under the logo).


full body of skidplate:
Since you will be driving off road or in snow, a heavy duty metal skid plate is about all you will be able to use. Since blocking up areas underneath with Coro or FG would be too easy to destroy.
Good luck getting one installed, without breaking the bank!

I really liked the look of this one:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...d-plate-32538/

But mine is a LOT shorter..
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm keeping the roof rack for when I get a Thule/Yakima box for snowboarding trips. The crossbars are removed and that gave me ~1mpg and noise reduction when I don't care about mileage and have the sun roof open.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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build this last week from 0.5mm aluminum, if you're offroading you might what to use thicker aluminum, but if you fold the edges it'll be much more rigid then the basic sheet will let you believe.

a 100x50mm sheet was 13€ thicker sheets where about 30€
the whole project costed me maybe 20€ or so
(depending on your buget that leaves quite some room for improveing meterial quality)

i used matal sheers to cut small bits of and folded the sheet over a table edge and over metal bars, and some aluminum profiles for support.

most of these skidplats commertially available are expensive because they include labour cost, profit margin and shipping.

if you can spare a couple of hours you can build something with the same specs and functionaliy (or better) for a fraction of the price.

mine was build for pure aero with a minimal weight, so heavy impacts might dent it (but its inline with the subframe so if it hits something my bumpers most likely ripped of as well)
there's 3 screws in the subframe at the back, but i could have worked around that if they're gone all attachements are withing reach from above trough the hood.

so you might look into a light removable aero pan you can pop of in 5 minutes when you're driveing fast in the dirt
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't take this the wrong way...

...but do you really need the Subie?

Car and Driver had a comaro of small cars a month or so ago, and the Imprezza had the worst mileage.

AWD adds weight and driveline friction.

The Imprezza got like 29, when a comparable Corolla got 40! So it is not an insignificant difference.

I think that AWD is really only necessary when you have the combination of snow and steep hills.

And even then, maybe you have a Subie beater for those times that you need it, and something that gets much, much better mileage for your average commute.

Just a thought.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When does one really need a 4x4?

That's kinda what I was thinking.. Until he said "snowboarding trips"..

I live north of Boston MA and after driving around wasting gas since Y2K,
I decided that I liked the load carrying ability of my SUV, but I didn't really need that gas sucking 4 wheel drive. (Plus it needed some repairs and regular lube changes).
So, I yanked that rear wheel drive junk out and took a big load off the engine..
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wouldn't go and try to do something to a brand new subie.

Just spend the money on a cheap beater you can take around. A ford festiva will get 50 mpg and can be had for a a few hundred dollars. Unless you're just stuck on the idea of having one car, or you dont drive enough to justify two cars, I dont know.
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This actually gets to a larger socio-political point that I've been thinking about lately...

People dumping their SUVs in a panic is really not smart. They're killing the market for used SUVs as a result.

Better to keep the SUV, use it for its intended purpose (towing, moving large numbers of people and stuff, etc) and get a small beater for commuting.

We're a rich country, and having multiple vehicles for multiple uses makes a lot of sense and is financially doable.

Or maybe a Kawasaki Ninja 250! Nice!
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krieg View Post
This actually gets to a larger socio-political point that I've been thinking about lately...

People dumping their SUVs in a panic is really not smart. They're killing the market for used SUVs as a result.

Better to keep the SUV, use it for its intended purpose (towing, moving large numbers of people and stuff, etc) and get a small beater for commuting.

We're a rich country, and having multiple vehicles for multiple uses makes a lot of sense and is financially doable.

Or maybe a Kawasaki Ninja 250! Nice!
In effect, spending thousands to save hundreds. It's the American way-- only think of the short term!

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